The Southeast Minneapolis Council on Learning and The Bridge received dozens of responses (despite a very short deadline; thanks kids and teachers!) from Marcy Open School students to the questions: What do you like about your school? If you could change something about your school, what would it be?
Of the approximately 35 responses, some strong trends stood out: many Marcy kids said they like their teachers, the “open” school concept and the fact that Marcy is a “peace” school. As for change, nearly half said they need longer lunch and recess than the 15 minutes currently set for each.
Here are all of the students’ responses, with those not published in the paper included first.
What I like about school is science. I want to change recess time and lunchtime to 30 minutes each.
— Cian Cagemoe, grade 3
I want longer recess and lunch before recess. I want it to be like last year. Last year we had recess for half an hour. Now we only have recess for 15 minutes and we had lunch before recess. — Halley Korwicki, grade 3 Marcy is a great school because it is an open school and because there is a lot of diversity. If I was able to change anything about Marcy, I would change the class sizes (we have 33 kids in our class) and have longer school hours. — Lydia McComas, grade 6
Marcy is great because it is an open school, so I always feel that I can learn alone or in a group. I feel that we have great teachers and students. Recess and lunch because we have no time to eat and play. Also the teachers for lunch and recess think that sitting with our classroom would be good, which everyone think is very silly. So they yell at us for things we didn’t do. I think we should get a larger range of time . — Helen Trisko, grade 6
I like Marcy because I like that all the teachers, all of them are so nice. Another thing that I like are all the opportunities for the students. I think it would be best to if we got to have a longer lunch because it is unhealthy to stuff your face full of your food. (I wouldn’t mind having a shorter recess.) — Olivia Munson, grade 6
What I like about Marcy Open School is that there is lots of kids in the school, so I can make lots of new friends. I like that we can change stuff we don’t like about Marcy with parents press. I would change to have longer lunch and recess. Eat outside or in the classroom. We have a laptop in the desk for each kid. Have our own locker. Have our own chalkboard in our desk.— Isabel Olson, grade 5
What I like about Marcy is that we have mixed grades. I also like that Marcy is an open school. I feel we have more opportunities that way. And I enjoy all the fun field trips we go on. I also love our teachers.
If I was to change Marcy I would want to have healthy lunches. I would also want to have longer centers and lunch. There is not much I want to change about school because I like my school just the way it is.
— Isabel Norsten, grade 5
I like that Marcy because it is a peace site and that it is an open school which gives more students opportunities.
What I would like to change about Marcy is each student have his/her own laptop at their desk. Bigger lockers would be nice, as well as a longer lunchtime with better-tasting,healthier school lunches. Also have less strict substitute teachers It would also be nice to have more school fundraisers and maybe a school shake store.
— Elise Gumm, grade 5
What I like about Marcy Open School is you get to learn and hang out with friends. Also it’s a peace site. There aren’t a lot of fights here and you get recess. You get opportunities to go after school to go to dance, knitting, etc.If I could change one thing is longer lunch time. Lunch should be a little longer because some people have something to warm up and they don’t have enough time, and they should get that time.
— Elma Osmanovic, grade 6
What I like about Marcy Open School is the centers. It’s the perfect amount of time and all of them are fun because of their activities. The thing I would change about school would be the people. I think we should have a day where you can go to a different classroom. Just around once a month. — Tara Kennedy, grade 5
I like Marcy Open School because we learn in fun ways. If I could change something about school I would make laptops in the desks, I would make no homework and more science. — Spencer Lee, grade 5
I like the kids and the teachers at Marcy Open school. Also, I like the activities and centers we go to. I would change the lunches, we need new foods at lunchtime.
— Nahal Afshar Javan, grade 5
I like the band program at Marcy Open School. I think the band teacher is really good. I know how to play three instruments. I have learned how to play three of them at Marcy. If I could change one thing about Marcy I would make it so that middle school would start in sixth grade so that kids would be more prepared for high school.
— Charlie Lincoln, grade 6
What I like about Marcy is that they have bridges for fifth and sixth graders. And that it is a peaceful school. What I would change about school is that we don’t have to share lockers. We should have our own laptop at out own desks.
— Zabiba Shameru, grade 6
I like Marcy because (that) you get a good amount of recess. If I was able to change something about school I would let us wear hats. — Shea Maki-Nelson, grade 5 If I could change one thing about Marcy, it would that every seventh and eighth grader gets their own locker. Every grade other than middle school shouldn’t even have a locker. They don’t switch seven classes a day so there you have.That is the only thing I would change at Marcy Open School.— Jona Barron
The thing I like about Marcy Open School is that there are a lot of opportunities here.I like that we get out of school earlier than my last year school. The first thing I would change is to only have math pages instead of having a math book.
— Deshone Stinson, grade 6 The thing I like about Marcy is that the teachers make it fun to learn. I would change the lunch and recess time so that lunch is before recess. — Levi Case-Allen, grade 6
I like Marcy Open school because of the teachers.Also I like how open it is. I think that we have a very fun time. I want better lunch, like change it to a coffee shop. Also I want to have more stuff at recesses like cards. Also, more lockers so everyone can have one. — Daycia McDill One thing I like about Marcy Open is that it is very creative and it has a lot of opportunities. Some things I would change about our school are it would be that the class sizes were smaller and that we could have longer lunch and recess. For lunch I would make the lunches better for you and taste better too. — Antonia Brown, sixth grade
I like math and reading, and writing and social studies. What I want to change is recess because it is really short. Lunch time is also short. — Maren Stone, grade 3
I really like that Marcy Open School is a peace site, because I think that it really helps promote peace in our school. If I had to change something about Marcy Open School, I think it would be the passing time because two minutes is not a lot of time to get your stuff and put your other stuff back into your locker and then go to your next class. If you are tardy to class, it affects your grade and if you get three tardies in a quarter, you get detention.
— Siobhan Young, grade 7
Change math to longer, lunch longer, longer recess, recess after lunch, longer day, everything longer. —
Jesse Bly, grade 3
Marcy is a great school because it is an open school and because there is a lot of diversity. If I was able to change anything about Marcy, I would change the class sizes (we have 33 kids in our class) and have longer school hours. — Lydia McComas, grade 6
I like that Marcy is an open school, so students in grades K–8 go together. I also like the classrooms that they are big and a lot of people could fit. … I like that the teachers switch lesson plans every year, so they don’t [teach] the same thing every year. I like that there are sports you can play.
If I could change anything I could I would change flag football to real tackle football. … Only 6th, 7th and 8th graders should only play [tackle football]. — Tenzing Chodhen, grade 8
I like how we are a peace site, and how we are a community. I would change the lunch and recess time. I would also change the hours. — Gavin Howell, grade 5
I like Marcy Open School because it is a safe, good education. Also I like it because I think the P.R.I.D.E. posters are going great!
If I could change something about school … I would want like built-in laptops for 5th grade and up, make lunches healthier. Then make sure kids aren’t cramped in one room, so the max would be 20 kids per room.
— Kaitlin White, grade 5
I like Marcy Open School because I think there are some very good teachers at this school, and I also think this is a very peaceful school. I would not like to go to any other school because I love this school!
Something I would like to change is hats. I mean, why can’t we wear hats? I love hats. Also, I wish we could have Halloween parties. — Madeleine Heywood, grade 5
Something that I really like about Marcy Open School is that it uses the open philosophy. Just the way that the teachers convey information and let the students make decisions, too. Also because no one is the same, but nobody cares so everyone can usually just be themselves.
If I could change something about Marcy Open School, I would have us not take so many tests. A test score doesn’t say how smart you are, or how kind you are, and it shouldn’t determine a final grade. Some people just aren’t good test-takers, or they get nervous and don’t do their best. — Clara Wildenauer, grade 6
I like the way we all are peacemakers and the way teachers educate us. I like the friends.
If I could change Marcy, I would change it by donating stuff that some kids need like jackets for the winter and belts for your pants, if you don’t have any and don’t have enough money to buy one. And if they don’t have enough money to pay for lunch, give them some of yours. And if someone needs help on the computer, help them. — Fiari Ford, grade 3
I really like that, at Marcy Open school, the teachers are always open to new ideas. If your teacher is teaching you something, and you believe that there is a different or better way to teach the lesson, the teacher encourages the suggestion. I also think Marcy has a great band program. I have been in band for three years, and just love it. The band teacher is always very helpful and friendly. When you walk into Marcy, you see kids chatting and having fun. That is what I like about Marcy Open School.
If I could change one thing about Marcy, it would be to make class sizes smaller. In math, there are so many kids in the class that our math teacher doesn’t always have time to check our math homework because he has to check 30 kids’ homework. — Hannah Brown, grade 7
Marcy Open is a great school. A lot of times, it doesn’t feel like school, it feels like home, my comfort zone. There are hardly ever any kids getting picked on, and if there are, the teachers take care of it in the best manner.
I’ve been to four different schools, and Marcy is my favorite. I was teased at a couple of my old schools. That never makes anyone feel good and probably distracts students from their learning. It’s awesome to know and feel that you’re surrounded by a positive environment.
Marcy is very diverse, everyone accepts everybody else for who they are. A lot of kids dread going to school every morning. Well, I look forward to it!
If there is something I could change about Marcy Open School, it would be taking the carpet out of the gym. It’s disgusting! It’s infected with germs and bacteria, a lot of reasons students get sick, germs spread through the carpet!
A lot of the older kids think it’s cool to stick their gum into the carpet, the next kid who sits down will get a little surprise! There was a flood a couple years ago, the district couldn’t afford new flooring, so we still have the same carpet! Those are just a few reasons we need a new gym floor, how about rug burns? Ouch! — Taylor Brandt, grade 8
The first thing I like about Marcy would have to be the teachers. Most of them are very friendly. They will be glad to answer your questions and help you when you are stuck. I also enjoy calling them by their first names. It allows us to get on a more personal level with them and develop a friendship.
I also like that we usually got to keep our teachers two years in a row back in 1st–6th grade. That also helped us become friends with the teachers.
If I could change anything about Marcy I would make centers shorter and extend our other classes by 10 minutes. That would help the short classes. In math, we never have enough time and social studies is always cramming. —_ Joe Gantenbein, grade 8_
I like the education, the teachers, the name, schools and classes. I would like to change school lunch (which is gross), add more recess and more school supplies.
— Soline Van de Moortele, grade 3